“What Are REM and Non-REM Sleep?” from WebMD.com

A typical hypnogram showing sleep stages and cycles in adult sleep (image by Luke Mastin). Source: http://www.howsleepworks.com/types_cycles.html

A typical hypnogram showing sleep stages and cycles in adult sleep (image by Luke Mastin). Source: http://www.howsleepworks.com/types_cycles.html

Duration of Sleep Stages. Source:  http://www.howsleepworks.com/types_cycles.html

Duration of Sleep Stages. Source: http://www.howsleepworks.com/types_cycles.html

 

I begin to learn about sleep cycle and sleep issues to improve my sleep quality.  I quote the article “What Are REM and Non-REM Sleep?” from WebMD.com.  The article is on this web page http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-101.  Some more information can also be found here: http://sleepapnea.org/learn/healthy-sleep.html.

Quote:

When you get your ZZZs, you cycle between REM and non-REM sleep.

REM stands for rapid eye movement. During REM sleep, your eyes move quickly in different directions. That doesn’t happen during non-REM sleep.

First comes non-REM sleep, followed by a shorter period of REM sleep, and then the cycle starts over again. Dreams typically happen during REM sleep.

What Happens During Non-REM Sleep?

There are three phases of non-REM sleep. Each stage can last from 5 to 15 minutes. You go through all three phases before reaching REM sleep.

Stage 1: Your eyes are closed, but it’s easy to wake you up. This phase may last for 5 to 10 minutes.

Stage 2: You are in light sleep. Your heart rate slows and your body temperature drops. Your body is getting ready for deep sleep.

Stages 3: This is the deep sleep stage. It’s harder to rouse you during this stage, and if someone woke you up, you would feel disoriented for a few minutes.

During the deep stages of NREM sleep, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system.

As you get older, you sleep more lightly and get less deep sleep. Aging is also linked to shorter time spans of sleep, although studies show you still need as much sleep as when you were younger.

What Is REM Sleep?

Usually, REM sleep happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep. The first period of REM typically lasts 10 minutes. Each of your later REM stages gets longer, and the final one may last up to an hour. Your heart rate and breathing quickens.

You can have intense dreams during REM sleep, since your brain is more active.

Babies can spend up to 50% of their sleep in the REM stage, compared to only about 20% for adults.

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3 responses to ““What Are REM and Non-REM Sleep?” from WebMD.com

  1. Interesting. When we wake up early in the morning from an intense dream, does that mean we were in a REM or NREM sleep cycle? This has been happening to me lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gwen, I read that dreaming starts in REM cycle according to the last sentence in the last paragraph of the quote: “… Usually, REM sleep happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep. The first period of REM typically lasts 10 minutes. Each of your later REM stages gets longer, and the final one may last up to an hour. Your heart rate and breathing quickens.

      You can have intense dreams during REM sleep, since your brain is more active.”

      Like

  2. Rapid eye movement sleep (REM) is not included. There are distinct electroencephalographic and other characteristics seen in each stage. Unlike REM sleep, there is usually little or no eye movement during these stages. Dreaming is rare during NREM sleep, and muscles are not paralyzed as in REM sleep. To know more about it click on REM and Non REM Sleep

    Liked by 1 person

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